Revealing the Sloth
by Robert Beaver, Museum intern for the Living Conservatory
The two-toed sloth is one of the most remarkable parts of the Living Conservatory exhibit; it can also be one of the most mysterious. Visitors will often look into his enclosure and wonder where he is. Some visitors want to know, “What in the world is a sloth?” They gaze at him in amazement as I tell them that a sloth is just a sloth, and its closest relations are actually anteaters and armadillos, not something that would be found climbing around in trees like primates. In fact, the two-toed sloth’s evolutionary ancestors were not arboreal, but a variety of massive ground-dwelling mammals that roamed the Americas tens of thousands of years ago. The story of tree-dwelling sloths represents a peculiar and interesting history of mammalian evolution that occurred relatively close to home in North Carolina.
Sloths are a part…
View original post 774 more words